Creating a Stylish Birthday Party

Ever flicked through a magazine and seen a jaw dropping birthday party that gets you excited to celebrate your little ones next birthday? As a partyware designer and stylist I share with you my stress free tips on how to coordinate a beautifully birthday party.  Following these 8 tips will help you prioritise what makes a stunning party.  From there how simple or over the top you choose to go will depend on your budget and style! Let’s get started.

  • Choose your theme – this sounds easy but with thousands to choose from you can get lost in the noise. Start by asking what your little one likes OR if they are too little, look at what is age appropriate. Do this before you start browsing instagram or you will keep skipping from one idea to the next and get overwhelmed.
  • Pick 3 colours: 1 dominant, 1 secondary and 1 highlight. Sometimes this can be easier by looking for inspiration in online boutique partyware shops that have styled a party palette for you from coordinated stock.  For example Illume Partyware has a number of party themes and if you were looking for a Fairy party the colour combination shown here is; dominant = pink, secondary = white and highlight = gold.  Or a twinkle star party; dominant = silver, secondary = white and highlight = black. Once you’ve decided, do not deviate no matter how cute something looks!

With a theme and colour palette chosen you are now ready to start planning (don’t go shopping yet)!  It helps to use a party planner in the weeks leading up to the party date to coordinate all the items.

  • Venue – most kids parties are held at home, but if you need/decide to find a venue this is key before you go any further. Planning your guest list and invites will help determine the party size and venue requirements. Which venue you decide on will then determine your room setup, decorations, games, and even food.
  • Room setup – decide if you are going to have a sweets table, sit down or stand up eating, drinks station, present table, and any areas of interest (tattoos, colouring etc). Once you’ve decided you will need to choose which of these will be the party feature.  By going through this selection process you can start to visualise what the party will look like and how it will feel.

Now you’re ready to go shopping! If your budget allows outsource whatever you can; cake, cookies, florists, entertainment, stylist. The industry is alive with talent and creativity that you can tap into at any time.  However, if you love to DIY there is huge cost savings and a lot of clever styling techniques you can draw from.  Here’s my top styling party tips that will make your party scene come alive!

  • Beautiful balloons – Balloons are like a universal symbol of the best parts of childhood — light, carefree, and playful. That’s why they often form the backbone of a party backdrop, sweets table or room display. Choose from a combination of Balloon Garland DIY Kits, bouquets or jumbos to make a statement. Put the main emphasis on your chosen party feature.
  • Partyware – Cake, nibbles, food and drinks, are central to any party. An easy way to incorporate party decorations is to incorporate your party theme into what you eat from! Whether it’s a sit down or a standup party, buffet or sweets table, everyone needs a plate, napkin and cup to enjoy their food. Partyware can be decorations themselves bringing shimmer and colour to the party by styling up the table inviting all the guests to join together. Check out this sorbet pastel party as an example.
  • It’s in the Details – When you were inspired by that magazine article, often it’s the detailed photographs that push it from good to great! The cake topper, cupcake wrappers or close up of the exquisit lollie bags, which highlighted how the theme and colour palette were so elegantly pulled together.
  • Delegate – As host, you don’t have to bear the burden on your own. There are always many people who would love to help bring the day together. Think about family or friends who could; take photographs, prepare thank you treats, or serve food. The less you have to do, the more time you will have to enjoy yourself and orchestrate the flow of your child’s party.

A lot of work goes into bringing a celebration together, cherish the planning and preparation as much as the party itself and the whole experience will be more nourishing. I find if you can slow things down, outsource what you don’t enjoy and focus on what brings you happiness, then it’s not just an end result, but a beautiful, creative journey.

“Whatever the occasion; spending time together, and supporting loved ones is the most important.“ Louise Lazendic,  Founder and Creative Director of Illume Partyware.


About the Author

When I was putting together my son’s first birthday party I found there was a lack of quality, fashionable and stylish party products out there in the market. I wanted to style a party and have everything co-ordinated together from the tableware to decorations. There is plenty of partyware out there but I couldn’t find any items that were high-quality and up to date with the current fashion trends. In 2011, I decided to move on from designing personalised invitations and launch Illume Partyware. A stylish high end fashionable partyware brand, that launches a new collection every year.